Joseph Doddridge


JOSEPH DODDRIDGE, whose book "Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars of Virginia and Pennsylvania", perpetuates his memory, was a member of both the clerical and medical professions. He was the eldest son of John D., of Maryland, and was born October 14, 1769, in Bedford county, Penn. His father in 1773, moved to Washington county, near the Virginia line. His facilities for obtaining an education were very limited, and to his own energy and perseverance he was mainly indebted for his intellectual culture. After several years at school in Maryland he worked on a farm until eighteen years of age, soon after which being a member of the Wesleyan Methodist church, and engaged in itinerent work. In 1778 he was received at a conference in Uniontown as a traveling preacher. After his father's death in 1791, he ceased this work, began to study and soon entered Jefferson academy, Canonsburg, Penn. After completing his studies, he became a minister in the P. E. church and did eminent services in establishing new churches throughout western Virginia and eastern Ohio. A few years after his entrance into the ministry he was under the necessity of combining with his clerical profession that of medicine, in order to obtain a support. His own wife said that before her husband began the practice of medicine, he was too poor to buy himself a second suit of clothes, and often his himself while she mended his clothes for the Sabbath. He completed his medical studies in Philadelphia under Dr. Rush, about the year 1800, and located in Wellsburg. Here, and in the surrounding territory he practiced medicine for a number of years, in connection with the ministry. In 1812 he was made a member of the academy of natural science of Philadelphia. He was also elected an honorary member of the medico-surgical society of east Ohio instituted in 1821. Int he practice of medicine Dr. Doddridge was eminently successful and deservedly popular. The fatigue and exposure to which he was subjected in his large and laborious practice in the laspe of years undermined his constitution, and engendered a disease which terminated fatally in November 1826. In addition to his "Notes", already referred to, Dr. Doddridge published "Logan", a dramatic piece; "A Treatise on the Culture of Bees", "The Russian Spy", a series of letters containing "Strictures on America", and some sermons and orations.

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